The Ship Yard (or "Shipyard") is a type of Town Building. Only about half of the races can build a Ship Yard, including the Barbarian, Gnoll, High Elf, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians. It can only be built in a town that is immediately adjacent to a Shore tile. In order to construct a Ship Yard, the town must already contain both a Shipwrights' Guild and a Sawmill. The Ship Yard's base construction cost is 200.
For most races that can build it, the Ship Yard's primary function is to produce Galleys, which are essentially transport ships that can ferry a large number of units across oceans - and are also rather capable at combat too. The Draconians will instead produce their Air Ships here.
A few of the races mentioned above will need the Ship Yard in order to unlock the Maritime Guild (giving access to the powerful Warships), and others require it for the eventual construction of the Merchants' Guild (boosting Gold production by a large amount).
The Ship Yard is an entire facility designed for the construction of advanced naval vessels. With expert ship-builders trained at the Shipwrights' Guild, and quality woodwork supplied by the Sawmill, strong and sturdy ocean-going ships can be created here that are much larger and more powerful than the basic Trireme.
Visually, the Ship Yard is represented only by the ship-construction site itself, where the skeleton of a large vessel can be seen in the early stages of completion. The ship's ribs are clearly seen, as well as a rudimentary mast and yard. A small wooden structure at the back of the ship is either part of the Ship Yard complex, or possibly the ship's own aftcastle and poop deck.
Races and Construction Edit
Only 8 Races in the game have access to the Ship Yard. They are the Barbarians, Gnolls, High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians. All of these races possess the technological know-how required to produce ships, while other races either have no interest in advanced seafaring or the knowledge of how to do so.
A town requires both a Shipwrights' Guild and a Sawmill in order to construct a Ship Yard. If either structure is missing, the Ship Yard cannot be built. In fact, if either structure is lost or sold off while the Ship Yard is still in construction, the project will be canceled prematurely and cannot be restarted until these required buildings are rebuilt.
Continuous Effects Edit
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
For the Gnolls, the Ship Yard offers no further building advancement, and is the end of the ship-building branch of development. They are content with the Galleys this structure provides, and do not need the Ship Yard for any other purpose. Thus they will rarely construct it unless Galleys are required.
For the Barbarians, High Men and Orcs, the Ship Yard is one of two components required to construct the Maritime Guild. While the Ship Yard provides the infrastructure for constructing great ocean vessels, the other component - the Armory - provides weapons with which to equip large vessels and their crews. The Maritime Guild then allows construction of Warships, which for some players are considered game-winning units.
For the High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians, the Ship Yard is one of the two components required to construct the Merchants' Guild. Again it provides a place to build large ships, but these are now used in the service of the Bank - the other required component - to facilitate profitable trade on the high seas. The Merchants' Guild offers such a massive boost to Gold income that these 6 races will probably endeavor to construct a Ship Yard, and later a Merchants' Guild, in each and every sea-side town.
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
For the majority of races that can build it (all except the Draconians), the Ship Yard guild immediately unlocks construction of the Galley - a sturdy, fast, and spacious troop transport ship. The Draconians, who have no need for cross-ocean transport, instead receive access to the Air Ship: a flying combat unit with respectable offensive strength.
The Galley is an ocean transport whose primary advantages over the basic Trireme include increased cargo space (for carrying up to 4 units at a time) as well as faster movement speed. A fleet of Galleys can easily transport large armies across any body of water, allowing both faster expansion to other continents as well as surprise invasions into other empires. Any empire that does not defend its shoreline properly may be subjected to such an invasion.
The Draconians' Air Ship serves a completely different purpose - being a pure combat vessel. It has a strong Ranged Attack and, as the name implies, can Fly at a good pace. It serves mainly as support to other Draconian units. As of patch 1.2, the Air Ship cannot carry any units. After all, the Draconians have no need for transportation, as all their units can fly by default.
Depending on Race, construction of a Ship Yard can be required purely for its access to advanced ocean transports, or for access to more useful structures later on. It thus determines the number of Ship Yards an empire will want to construct in its towns.
Since the Ship Yard allows production of Galleys, the construction of at least one of these buildings may be required as expansion into another continent (or a war against another neighbour across the ocean) becomes unavoidable. Galleys provide fast transportation for large armies, and are quite formidable on their own - not to mention much stronger and more survivable than the basic Triremes.
The Gnolls have no other implementation for this building, and as such will rarely need to construct more than one Ship Yard. A town with good Production yields is best for this purpose, as it can produce Galleys at a faster rate. Other Gnoll towns do not require this structure at all.
Barbarians, High Men and Orcs construct Ship Yards as a stepping-stone towards the Maritime Guild, which then unlocks Warships. If Galleys are not required immediately, these races will generally want to hold off ship construction until Warships become available (through the Maritime Guild), as they are significantly more powerful than Galleys (and, with appropriate magic, can become extremely deadly!).
High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Dark Elves and Draconians have yet another incentive to build Ship Yards - and plenty of them. This structure will eventually unlock the Merchants' Guild for these races. The Merchants' Guild boosts Gold production significantly in any city in which it is built, and therefore will likely be built in any developed sea-side population center. This means that Ship Yards will be constructed even in towns that have no intention of producing actual ships! Note that in such towns (where shipbuilding is not going to occur), it is better to hold off Ship Yard construction until a Bank has been set up. This will conserve some money on the Ship Yard's maintenance.
Finally, note that Draconians may or may not be interested in building Ship Yards for unit production. They have no need for ocean transports (since all their units can fly by default), and the Air Ship that becomes available to Draconians is not a very impressive unit compared to other Draconian units (like the Doom Drakes). Again, Draconians may have greater need for the Ship Yard in order to produce Merchants' Guilds later in the game than they have for creating Air Ships.